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What is PlayStation Link? Sony’s wireless audio tech explained

We’re several months beyond the launch of the PlayStation Portal and Sony’s new suite of Pulse Elite and Pulse Explore headsets. They introduced PlayStation Link, but just what is it? Here are the basics.

The new PlayStation Portal debuted as Sony’s new handheld for PS5 remote play, but there was a bit of a catch. The device doesn’t support Bluetooth and will instead require headsets which support a new standard, PlayStation Link. Two of those headsets are new peripherals from PlayStation, including the Pulse Explore which we’ve fully reviewed. Let us explain just what this new standard is.

PlayStation Link is a new wireless audio standard from Sony. It is designed with low latency as a primary goal, along with lossless audio and switching seamlessly between Sony devices like the PlayStation Portal and PS5.

PlayStation Link is a new technology from Sony and, as such, isn’t built-in to previously released hardware. This means you need a separate PlayStation Link USB hub to use its new headsets with the PS5 (yes, even, the newer PS5 Slim models), PC and Mac. The USB dongle is included with the new Pulse Explore and Pulse Elite headsets but, if you ever need a new one, it’ll cost you £19.99.

The device that skirts around this is the recently released PlayStation Portal, which features the technology inside, so you can connect your Pulse Elite or Pulse Explore (or other yet-to-be-released PlayStation Link-compatible headsets) directly without the need for the dongle.

PlayStation Pulse Explore in ear
PlayStation Pulse Explore – Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Sony hasn’t offered specific details on that low latency and is yet to reveal the audio quality the PlayStation Link tech can achieve. But, here’s how Sony puts it: “This new tech allows the PS5 console, PlayStation Portal, Pulse Explore wireless earbuds, and Pulse Elite headset to achieve low-latency, lossless audio.” It adds, “The vision is to enable players to bounce between devices at home, freely swapping between their PS5 and PlayStation Portal to play games and bringing their audio devices along for the jump.”

Sony, somewhat cheekily, suggests buying additional USB adapters for “added convenience” as if you plug them right into multiple devices like a PS5, PC and Mac then you won’t even have to move the dongle around when you want to switch machine.

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